Words from Wise Women: Advice for Young PR Professionals

Words from Wise Women: Advice for Young PR Professionals

At G&S, we are strategists, leaders, professionals, and in many cases, mothers.

To celebrate Women’s History Month, G&S held an agency-wide women’s panel to highlight our female presence at the agency.

Here is some of the advice our panelists offered for young professionals and their takes on how moments in their lives shaped their careers today.

 

CARYN CARATELLI, Senior Vice President

Train the courage. A lot of times, the unknown is scary, and you can feel unsure of yourself. Studies even show that women are less likely to take risks if they’re not feeling 100% confident. Every day, try to do something that takes you out of your comfort zone, so when you have to rely on your courage, it’s there.

LINDA KANE, Account Director

Someone once told me that any good idea is worth stealing.  To me, that means that when you encounter a challenge, you should confer with your colleagues who might have done the same thing before. How did they handle that situation? Learn from what they’ve done and adapt it to your own situation.

Early in my career, I learned to challenge the status quo. If there’s not an obvious solution or the trend is not going your way, think about challenging conventional wisdom by digging a little deeper. We have a lot of help to do that today with our insights team and our content strategy team, and strategically, that makes us stand out.

JULIE MADSEN, Senior Project Manager

If there’s something you want to do, or learn, or know more about, don’t assume there’s someone just waiting in the wings who can’t wait to teach you all about it. It’s important to be self-reliant and make things happen for yourself. Sometimes, the best teacher you’ll have is yourself, so never doubt your own brain power.

One of the biggest lessons I was taught growing up was that if you act like a doormat, you’ll absolutely be treated like one. I was taught at a young age to stand up for myself, and that’s translated big-time into my career.

It’s noticeable that we have women in leadership here. We have female shareholders, which is a great sign. There’s not that feeling of a ceiling cap where there might be one at other firms. In my experience, Creative departments especially can be heavily dominated by men, and it’s so great to see that at G&S, there’s a female presence in every department.

LEAH SAILOVIC, Account Supervisor

Trust yourself. Speak up. Take confident risks. Together, we can deliver the best possible results, but you need to take risks and voice your ideas to make that happen.

The deeper you can ingrain yourself in the team, make yourself stand out and become indispensable to your clients, the more you can grow in your career and further the mission of the agency as a whole.

I faced a unique challenge. I came into an Account Executive role working across technical industries, but I’m not formally trained in PR – I studied political science and international relations. I used that as a springboard – shifting my challenge into an opportunity – by seeing the big picture for my clients from a political, economic, and business value perspective. It helped be become a better strategist.

ANNE GREEN, Principal & Managing Director

Two things are critical when you get into leadership and are faced with bigger, more challenging issues: Mental toughness and emotional resilience.

In your early career, understand and accept that you don’t see the big picture yet. It’s like looking through the holes in Swiss cheese. That’s okay and normal. But it’s important to step back sometimes to allow yourself to recognize that you might be missing something. Having confidence in yourself while also checking in with others who have more experience can help you find the big picture – and build your ability to put those pieces together to see it for yourself.

SUSAN FISHER, Account Director
Don’t expect perfection in your professional life. That’s unattainable. Learn from your mistakes, grow, and try not to repeat them. And become a good listener. We’re all on this forward trajectory, and listening to different opinions might take you a few steps back, but it’s critical to the team’s success. G&S facilitates that diversity of thought, and it’s so important to our growth.

JAMIE DOMACH, Project Manager

Do your research! Understand where you are in your role and how your position fits in the company. There’s always room to grow and learn, so start by perceiving where you are and what you need to do. Keep up with what’s happening in the marketplace and stay informed.

RACHAEL ADLER, Senior Vice President

Take every opportunity and make the best of it. You might surprise yourself. Even if you think it’s not going to be interesting to you, take the opportunity when a new client comes in to see if it’s an area where you might excel. Learning different things excites all of us, and you might discover a new area of personal interest.

It’s important to me that my kids see me as a working mom. I want not only for my daughter to know she can have both – a career and a family – but also for my sons to appreciate female leaders as well. We need female leadership because of our ability to bring people together in unique ways.

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Kate Threewitts is Senior Vice President of Human Resources at G&S. Kate's dedication to building a community founded on service and performance has helped accelerate agency growth. Kate is responsible for providing the overall human resources strategy and direction that cultivates the agency’s growing talent base. Since she joined G&S in 2014, Kate has focused on recruitment and staff retention, employee engagement, organizational policies and programs, compensation and performance management. Kate also helped launch the award-winning “Think Differently Together” program at G&S to create a company-wide environment where differences are appreciated and celebrated. In her more than 15 years’ experience with non-profit and for-profit organizations, Kate has provided counsel to management, implemented and tracked performance initiatives, and provided guidance on employee relations issues. She is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management and a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Kate earned a B.A. in communications, specializing in public relations, from North Carolina State University. Kate’s approach to business and life is shaped by her favorite saying, “Being positive in a negative situation is not being naïve – it is leadership.”

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